Call Pittsburgh Office (412) 281-8400

Call NY Office (212) 952-0014

Toll Free (888) 355-1735

Call Pittsburgh Office (412) 281-8400

FAQ

Individual Action FAQs

I think I need to speak to a lawyer. What should I do?

Call or e-mail us and briefly explain your situation. A law clerk, paralegal, or attorney will talk with you and ask you more detailed questions.  If we need to return your call, you will receive a call before the end of the next business day.

After talking with you, if we believe you may have a potential claim, we will schedule an in-person consultation at a convenient time for you at our office.  Our offices are located in downtown Pittsburgh on Forbes Avenue, near Macy’s.

What should I bring to my consultation?

Please bring any documents or records (examples:  letters, notes, insurance policies, disability plan summaries, employee policy manual, employment agreement, severance agreement, school handbook, pay stubs, grievances, incident reports, etc.) that you believe are important to your situation.  It also helps if you bring a brief, written outline or timeline of the events involved in the situation that caused you to look for a lawyer’s help.

How much will this cost me?

That answer varies — because each case is unique.  Your situation and the facts surrounding your potential claim will be evaluated by our lawyers.  You will discuss with them how to proceed and, at that time, they will determine the proper retainer, costs and fees.

What is at-will employment?

If you do not belong to a union or have a written employment contract, you are probably what is referred to as an “at-will employee.”  This means that if you find a better job, you can leave your current employer at any point.  This also means that your employer can terminate or fire you for almost any reason, except for several protected classes.

What are those protected classes?

Under federal and state laws, your employer cannot discriminate against you because of:

  • Age (if you are age 40 and over);
  • Disability (or perceived disability);
  • Genetic information;
  • National origin (includes discrimination based on accents);
  • Pregnancy;
  • Race;
  • Religion;
  • Sex (includes sexual harassment); or
  • Veteran status.

Additionally, in Allegheny County, employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation.

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who steps up to report misuse or waste of government funds to their employer. When those employees are retaliated against (fired, demoted, harassed, etc.) for speaking up, they may have cause for legal action because whistleblowers are protected by law.

What is a Qui Tam action?

Qui Tam is an abbreviation for a Latin phrase meaning, “[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself.”  It’s the legal name for a certain type of whistleblower case where a person sues on the government’s behalf after discovering his or her employer has been cheating the federal government or misusing government funds.

When should I contact a lawyer?

Not all whistleblowing employees are protected, so it is best to seek advice of an attorney before you talk to a supervisor or government agency about:

  • A violation of a law or regulation;
  • A danger to public health or safety;
  • An abuse of authority;
  • Gross mismanagement; or
  • A gross waste of funds.

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Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC

Pittsburgh Office

429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1300

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: +1 (412) 281-8400

Toll Free: +1 (888) 355-1735

Fax: +1 (412) 281-1007

New York Office

29 Broadway, 24th Floor

New York, NY 10006-3205

Phone: +1 (212) 952-0014